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Ukraine Contact Group agrees on indefinite 'peace and quiet order' as of August 31

August 26, 17:57 UTC+3 MINSK
Members of the Contact Group for the settlement in eastern Ukraine have completed talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk
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MINSK, August 26. /TASS/.  Members of the Contact Group for the settlement in eastern Ukraine have completed talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk, Viktoria Talakina, a spokesperson for envoy of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin wrote on Facebook: 

 "The Contact Group meeting has come to an end. The next meeting will be held on September 7."

According to Martin Sajdik, the OSCE's special representative in the Group, the parties to the Contact Group for settling the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine have come to terms on the importance of an indefinite 'peace and quiet order' along the line of contact, which separates the pro-Kiev armed units and the forces of the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk republics, as of August 31.

"The Contact Group and the participating representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk have spoken about the importance of an indefinite ceasefire as of midnight August 31 in connection with the start of a new school year," he said.

In many parts of the former Soviet Union, the school year begins traditionally on September 1.

"I am making a personal appeal to the (conflicting) sides to express their top-level support for it," Sajdik said.

He recalled he made an identical statement last year.

"Unfortunately, twelve months have passed since then but we have to do it once again," Sajdik said. "I'm obliged to say thesed are the joint initiatives of all the members of the Contac Group and I hope children will have an opportunity to begin the school year without a problem."

Russian envoy urges parties to conflict in Donbass to establish open-ended cease-fire

According to the Russian representative in the Contact Group, Boris Gryzlov, the key task of the Group’s agenda is to work out concrete measures designed to de-escalate Donbass conflict. 

"Steps designed to de-escalate the conflict is the key item on the agenda. No one needs an armed confrontation," Gryzlov said commenting the Contact Group’s negotiations held on Friday.

Gryzlov said the Contact Group had urged the sides in conflict to establish "an infinite ceasefire" by the start of a new academic year on September 1.

"Opinion polls show that practically all Ukrainian society wants to see this conflict over," Gryzlov said. "The people are tired of military hostilities, military rhetoric and sabre rattling. Ukrainians want change and real progress. The only way to achieve that is to fully implement the Minsk agreements, which, for the moment, do not have an alternative," the Russian representative in the Contact Group stressed.

According to Gryzlov, the granting of a special status to Donbass permanently; the constitutional reform, amnesty and elections fully meet the interests of Ukraine and Europe.

"Therefore, we are determined to continue working on the solution of political, socio-economic and humanitarian problems," Gryzlov stressed.

He called on the Kiev government and the ruling coalition of political forces in Ukraine to undertake a commitment to clearly reflect all the agreements, reached in Minsk, in Verkhovna Rada’s laws.

Gryzlov believes that the disengagement of the armed units of the warring parties in concrete places was another vital security task.

"That will decrease a possibility of provocations and will contribute to observation of the ceasefire regime. But I would like to call your attention to my approach: I believe that the solution of security issues should be parallel to the process of political settlement," Russia’s representative in the Contact Group said.

"Any unilateral attempts to adopt documents on the constitutional reform and elections in Donbass without prior agreement with the other party will not be constructive at least and are unlikely to contribute to establishing peace," Gryzlov stressed adding there was very little time left before September 1.

"We are calling on the sides in conflict to establish a full and infinite ceasefire by the start of a new academic year," Gryzlov concluded.

DPR calls on OSCE to probe into use of GRAD rockets by Ukrainian military

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic’s envoy to the Contact Group for a settlement in Donbass, Denis Pushilin, has urged the OSCE mission in Ukraine to probe into the bombardments of the Donetsk Republic with GRAD rockets, Pushilin’s press secretary Viktoria Talakina said on Friday.

"At a meeting in Minsk Denis Pushilin expressed indignation over Ukraine’s actions and urged the OSCE to take a harder line to investigate the August 19 attack with multiple rocket launchers GRAD."

She said that on August 25 the Ukrainian military shelled the republic once again with prohibited 122-mm and 152-mm weapons. A bombardment in the small hours of August 25 left two civilians dead, six others injured and 14 homes damaged.

The Contact Group’s on security, humanitarian, economic and political issues also held meetings in Minsk earlier in the day. 

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